Raising the status of a profession

The project aimed to improve the quality of care provided in public and private hospitals in Damascus by improving the quality of training and the recognition of the nursing profession. To this end, on-the-job training was put in place for nursing staff, and teacher training in specialised schools for medical personnel.

271 nurses and 25 managers were trained. As a result, significant behaviour changes were noted, including improved hygiene and better prevention of the contamination of equipment and care; a better organisation of responsibilities; and improvements in relations with the patients and their families. The training also raised their status with hospital management. Consistent with its objective, the project brought a new dynamic and better perception of the nursing profession. Other institutions requested that sessions be organised in their establishments during the project period, increasing from four to six the number of hospitals that benefited from the initiative. As a result, the Ministry of Health was strongly supportive of the project and a new “Train the Trainers in Nursing” initiative was created, previously non-existent in Syria.

The Institut Européen de Coopération et de Développement (IECD) is an NGO founded in 1988 to implement international solidarity projects in developing countries. Its mission is to provide men and women with the tools and knowledge to enable them to play an active role in the future of their countries. Education and training are at the core of its approach.



Education / Health


November 2009 - December 2010


Damascus / Syria

With whom

The Institut Européen de Coopération et de Développement (IECD)




18.2 million (2017)

Per Capita Income
USD 1,840/year (2017)

Poverty rate *
35% (2007)

Literacy rate
86% (2016)

Human Development Index
155th out of 189 countries (2018)

The ongoing violent conflict in Syria is taking a heavy toll on the life of the Syrian people and the economy. Lack of sustained access to health care, education, housing and food have exacerbated the impact of the conflict and pushed millions of people into unemployment (50%) and poverty. More than half of Syria’s population has been displaced and 75% of the Syrian people require humanitarian assistance. The collapse of the economy, soaring food prices, loss and disruption of livelihoods and arable lands, as well as the decline in food production,  have led to widespread food insecurity.


Sources: World Food Program, UNICEF, World Bank, 2016 Human Development Report, Human Development Indices and Indicators (2018 Statistical Update)

*The percentage of the population living below the national poverty line.